AFTER A BRIEF STAY AT NAZARETH Jesus went and settled at Capernaum. This was better suited as a center for His public ministry, being a cosmopolitan city through which traffic from several countries moved. He preached regularly in the synagogue there and the people were strongly impressed by His teaching, for He spoke with authority, and did not constantly resort to rabbinic precedents, as did the Scribes. Along the Galilean shore Jesus found Simon, Andrew, James, and John, who had first joined Him in Judea and who had temporarily returned to their trade of fishermen. They had moored their boats and were washing and mending nets. A crowd of people had followed Jesus, and in order to speak to them more conveniently He entered Simon’s boat and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then, sitting in the little fishing vessel, He began teaching the throngs who stood waiting on the narrow beach. When He had finished speaking, He said to Peter:
“Put out into the deep, and lower your nets for a catch.”
“Master,” said Simon, “the whole night through we have toiled and have taken nothing; but at Thy word I will lower the net.” Thereupon he and his companions pushed out some distance from the shore and began to lower the net. Almost at once it was filled to the breaking point. Simon and his crew were unable to bring their catch on board, and as they saw the net beginning to tear under the weight of the enormous mass of struggling fish, they called to the Zebedees for help. Through their combined efforts the net was hauled up and both boats were loaded with fish until they began to ship water. Where upon the crews were amazed, and Peter fell on his knees protesting he was unworthy to be in Christ’s presence. Going ashore with Simon and Andrew, Jesus said to them:
“Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they put aside their nets and followed Him. And passing by the spot where the Zebedees had landed, He invited James and John in the same way, and they left their father and followed Christ.
Meditation: Christ performed this miracle to remove any hesitation that might still prevent Peter, Andrew, James, and John from following Him. They were already His disciples; He wanted them to be His apostles. For this further commitment, Christ assured them by a miracle that He could always come to their assistance. They were convinced; they left all to follow Him. Often, when the interior call of grace or the exterior call of Christ’s Church invites us to undertake a new work or join a new group, we hesitate to get involved. We fear to give ourselves unreservedly-even to God’s work.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 35-36. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.